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Everything You Need to Know for Primary Day

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Today's rare Thursday primary election will determine the Democratic candidate for State Representative in Worcester's 15th District.

Whoever comes out on top in the five-way race between Frank Beshai, Dianna Biancheria, Mary Keefe, Ralph Perez and City Councilor Kate Toomey is likely to ride his or her victory in the heavily Democratic district all the way to the State House this November.

Just two representatives have held the seat in the past 50 years, and this year's winner may be looking forward to an equally long tenure as State Rep. for the city's first minority-majority district.

City Resources

Voters can visit the City of Worcester's website to look up which their assigned polling location.

Live election results will be projected at City Hall and will also be available online through the Government TV live stream.

Last Minute Efforts

Beshai's campaign made over 5,000 calls on Wednesday, and two campaign mailings were sent out to hit mailboxes throughout the day.

"A full swing was made to help get the vote out," he said.

Elsewhere in the district, Toomey said she was feeling the normal campaign stress as she went door-to-door, made phone calls and spoke with parents outside the district's schools.

"This is probably one of the most important races that they're going to be voting on," she said.

"Whoever wins is more than likely going to be the State Representative."

Toomey and her supporters will gather at Coral Seafood on Shrewsbury Street tomorrow evening to watch the election results come in.

Biancheria's camp will be setting up shop at the Vintage Grill at Shrewsbury and Adams.

Keefe has scheduled a "thank you" rally at the MNA Parking Lot on Shrewsbury Street for 10:00a.m., followed by a Ward 4 Volunteer Lunch in the same location.

Expectations and Predictions

With the primary scheduled for a Thursday right in the middle of the two national political conventions, City Councilor Konstantina Lukes said she expects voter turnout of less than 10 percent.

"I think people are distracted by too many other things."

In light of the off-day scheduling and a relatively quiet race so far, the former mayor said the five-way race will come down to a contest between Biancheria and Keefe.

"I think they have the strongest organizations," she said, adding that votes will likely break down geographically, with Keefe pulling from the Main South area and Biancheria taking the Shrewsbury side of the district.

Lukes also expressed concerns about a possible fallout from the primary election, with City Councilors Joseph O'Brien and Sarai Rivera publicly supporting opponents of their fellow councilor Toomey.

"Unless an issue was so crucial that it required my involvement, I think it's not necessary at this level to get involved in that kind of internal opposition," Lukes said.

"I think it's a really strong field of candidates," said O'Brien, noting the positive contributions Toomey, Biancheria and Keefe have all made to the city.

O'Brien, who has endorsed Keefe, said he spoke with Toomey prior to the race picking up.

"I've worked with Kate over many years," he said. "I'm sure we'll continue to work together as we've done in the past."

Meanwhile, Republican City Committee Chair Chris Pinto said he believes the union-supported candidate will win the primary.

Biancheria, Keefe and Toomey all received contributions from labor organizations, but the lion's share of union money was added to Keefe's war chest.


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